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The Illustrated London News... Beautiful imagery... - History's Newsstand Blog : History's Newsstand Blog

The Illustrated London News… Beautiful imagery…

September 16, 2022 by  
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Today, as I was searching for an issue for a collector, I was paging through an 1857 issue of The Illustrated London News.  In the midst of all of the intricate black and white sketches I happened upon two full-color double page portraits of what I believed to be women’s fashion of the day… one titled “Town” and the other titled “Country”. Of course, my immediate thought went to the popular American magazine which began in the 1800’s.  However, upon a bit of investigating, I found that the current Town and Country Magazine had a predecessor two hundred years prior to its inception (some of which we have sold). This English version which began in the 1760’s is described as follows by Wikipedia:

“Town and Country Magazine was an 18th-century London-based publication that featured tales of scandals and affairs between members of London’s upper classes. Town and Country Magazine was founded by Archibald Hamilton in 1769. It gained the name ‘Town and Country’ because Hamilton had two offices, one in urban Clerkenwell and one in a rural area near Highgate. In the 1770s there was a dramatic increase in suits brought by men and their wives’ lovers in England. Many people became eager to read transcripts of adultery trials…”.

Yikes!  After reading this, I am no longer sure what I found was describing women’s fashion.

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